Proud experts!

It’s no mean feat to obtain a Tea Sommelier diploma. First, the candidate must answer 24 open questions in just an hour. Then they must prepare, in front of three examiners, a tasting of six teas from among 22. The leaves placed in front of the applicant have no written indication of their type, colour or origin. Then they must perform a task chosen at random: prepare a matcha tea correctly, serve tea in a kyusu, or serve a pu erh using the gong fu method. That’s what this esteemed exam consists of, meaning that those who obtain the diploma are true experts! Here, I’m meeting some of them, with my assistant watching on. Bénédicte has infused a few premium teas, which we are discussing.

Posted in Non classé by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Tea tasting is all about the senses

 Tea tasting

When I give a lesson at The Tea School, or when I arrange a tasting for colleagues, one of the first things I do is to ask them a very simple question: once you have put food in your mouth, how many senses are in contact with this food, and which ones? The answers always vary. Now, to taste properly – and this goes for any food – it is essential to understand which senses come into play, and then to build up the appropriate vocabulary.

Posted in Tea tasting by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , ,

Carine Baudry helping in the making of a Long Jing

This year, during the Long Jing harvest, the team from Le Palais des Thés lent a hand – in the wok. Here, Carine Baudry, head of the Tea School, is listening carefully to the advice being given by Professor Liang. Yuerong Liang is director of the Tea Research Centre at the Agricultural University of Hangzhou. He explains the great skill involved in processing Long Jing: it requires an extremely precise hand movement, and you must be very careful not to burn yourself.

When you have taken part in the making of a tea, you appreciate it even more when it comes to tasting it.

Posted in Country : China by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , , ,

Eight students of the Tea School in Darjeeling

Carine Baudry, who runs the Tea School, travelled to Darjeeling last month accompanied by eight of her students. What a trip! This was a first for Carine, who returned just as enchanted as her fellow travellers, to whom she introduced this magnificent region and the art of producing tea. Carine has often travelled with me in India, Japan and China. But this was the first time she’d had the pleasure of teaching in the production region itself.

On the right, in the blue shirt, is Rajiv Gupta, manager of the Tumsong plantation.

Posted in Country : India, Palais des Thés by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , ,

The first Tea School trip to Darjeeling

Carine Baudry, head of the Tea School, has just returned from Darjeeling. The trip was organised by the school to allow some of the students to visit the plantations and gain a first-hand understanding of how tea is made. Carine and her eight students stayed in the beautiful surroundings of a tea garden and observed every stage in the production process. They met several planters and were able to ask plenty of questions. They also visited Delmas Bari and admired the breathtaking landscapes of this Himalayan region. And there were plenty of opportunities to meet the smiling tea pluckers, like the two women pictured here.

Posted in Country : India, Palais des Thés by François-Xavier Delmas | Tags : , , , ,

The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

Articles classified by themes

Blogs on tea in English

Blogs on tea in French


Links to Le Palais des Thés

Past travels